I don't know what it is about NBA centers born outside the United States, but within the past 25 years alone, they are a very interesting group.
My recent conversation with Kings training camp invitee Hamady Ndiaye - as profiled Wednesday in The Bee - tweaked my memory about the NBA's league's recent cast of 7-foot international characters. Just to name a few of the more outgoing types: Dikembe Mutombo (Congo), Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), Samuel Dalembert (Haiti), Rik Smits (Netherlands), Yao Ming (China) and the late Manute Bol (Sudan).
Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) was always warm and engaging when you got him away from Georgetown and, later, the New York Knicks. The deep-voiced, finger-watting Mutombo, known as "Deke," is in a league of his own. Kings coach Michael Malone reminded us the other day about his booming personality and "cookie monster" vocals.